'We Protect our Communities': Cop Watchers Speak Out

NBC News

QUEENS, N.Y. — On a recent evening in a nondescript apartment building in the Jackson Heights section of Queens, a small group of young social justice activists gather for a weekly ritual.

Armed with handheld video cameras and know-your-rights pamphlets, they hash out a strategy and exchange information about police movements in the area. All write on their arms the phone number of a lawyer who will bail them out of jail if things go awry.

Protect Yourself & Your Community: Watch the Cops

This week, we learned of the tragic and unjust police killing of Walter Scott, an unarmed 50-year-old Black man in North Charleston, SC. The incident has gained national attention, and the police officer who killed Walter Scott has been fired and charged with murder, in large part because a bystander pulled out their cell phone and started filming. Today, there is a growing #CopWatch movement of individuals and groups who are exercising their right to observe and document police activity.